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Sony HDR-FX7 / HVR-V1


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#41 MikeVeitch

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:17 AM

how about the wife? just rent one while you are on location, easier than renting a Z1 and housing..


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#42 Drew

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:29 AM

Ok I think we should clarify a few things:
1. CMOS vs CCD: CMOS does not have significant cost savings due to the supporting systems required to run it. CMOS, by design has less area for optical capture, thus is less light sensitive. However, with proper processing and amplifiers, CMOS has come a long way (For stills, Canon and Nikon both use CMOS vs CCD for compactness, and no one argues about the quality of those cameras). CMOS dynamic range is less than CCD , again the best still cameras use CMOS technology and have a 11 stop dynamic range(but that's more important in stills than lossy video codecs which are at most 6-7stop in range).

2. HDV has provisions for 1080P. Sony's version writes the signal as 50/60i, so bandwidth is not going to be a problem. That also allows compatibility with older 50/60i equipment. Furthermore, the FX7 does not have progressive scan mode, only the V1. The V1U (NTSC) has 30P which will give even better motion.

3. The FX7 IS NOT the replacement of the FX1. So there's no need to compare the 2. They complement each other and are priced $200 apart. Now for people in the $3k market, what's $200 more? I suspect it will drop in price or the FX1 replacement will have more features next year.

4. The top LCD design of the FX/Z1 is awesome... esp for topside use. UW, if you're looking down at your housing to frame, it can limit the peripheral vision and inhibit proper subject entry into and exit out of the picture. Also, you are also limited to altitude control by having to be on top of the housing to frame. Again this is just one of the many ways to shoot and not the only way to shoot. And there are workarounds.

5. Big glass infront of the sensor is not indicative of better low light sensitivity. Eg. The Panasonic DVX100 had 3x 1/3" CCD behind 72mm leica glass, and so did Canon. yet the measly 58mm 3x1/3" CCD was more sensitive. Sensor size does make a difference however, as does number of sensors. The HVR-A1 Sony has 1 CMOS sensor and sucks at lowlight, the HC3 improves a bit not by having a different sensor but by post processing. 1 CCD cameras also suffered in lowlight

Simonspear
Those lux numbers are the US lux rating which were apparently standardized in 2002 (or 01, I can't really remember). Those standards suck because it doesn't tell the whole story. The Japanese lux ratings have existed longer and imho, more realistic.
As for travel, dump the wife, kid and grandparent and get an 18 yr old au pair from Sweden or Croatia. :P

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#43 SimonSpear

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:13 AM

LOL guys I can't dump the wife...erm well I could, but, well you know what I mean! :P

Drew understand what you're saying about CCD vs CMOS. I'm not anti CMOS at all, but its perfomance on camcorders so far has not been stella. Again I understand what you're saying about 1 chip vs 3 chip, but again it doesn't absolutely always hold true. For example compare the low light abilities of the PC350 (CCD 1chip) to its replacement the PC1000 (CMOS 3 chip). IMO the PC350 won hands down. Now this could be because it was new tech to use CMOS on a camcorder at the time, which is pretty much what I was speculating. If Sony have learnt from that and the HD CMOS cams, then hopefully the FX7/V1 will be right up there in quality. If as you say the HC3 chip was smaller than the A1 but still improved on low light performance, then this could well be the case.

I'm still hoping (waiting?) for a A1/HC1 sized 3 chip HD cam to come out (possibly the A1's direct replacement?), but the FX7/V1 has really grabbed my interest so far. The more I think about it the more I'm seriously considering it. Apparently the FX7/V1 has a 40% reduction in volume over the FX1 and a 25% reduction in weight. That's a fair difference.

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#44 DeanB

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:37 AM

Reading some other forums there is a big difference in opinions on the Jap vs West theory of Lux..

You will have to trust me because I cannot remember names and forums (i spend to long on the web) but some topside pro's think Jap lux levels are crap compared to West and some (like drew) go the other way...So to speak.

But who gives a flying squirrel. As long as you happy with the result...

My 2lux..Sorry two pence worth.

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#45 Nick Hope

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:14 PM

Lots of sense being talked here. Shawnh and Drew you made some great points.

Off to the bank right now to put my deposit down on a Z1. Then when it's made me rich and famous in a couple of years I'll upgrade to a RED :P

#46 shawnh

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:53 PM

Nick
I don't think you will regret it. Sure something better will come along some day, but it will cost more and probably be bigger. If folks haven't noticed, the high performers keep getting bigger, not smaller. Current technology which is driven by physics, requires larger sensors and lens to perform better. Note the jump in size in the last few gens of cams, (PD150/170, Vx1000/2000 to FX1/Z1, Panny and Canon)...all got noticalby bigger.
This will likely change some day but hasn't changed yet to my knowledge. We should not confuse "better performace from smaller cams" with "which cam provides the best performance" (it is still the big ones). There is a reason Stan W. pushes a 50gallon drum underwater with two assistants:) It really comes down to your own personal tolerance for extra size/weight and your wallets appetite for the better system. I personally am stuck at the high prosumer FX1 and A1. Stan W. likes Imax! There is no one right answer, just what is right for you.
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#47 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:02 AM

You will have to trust me because I cannot remember names and forums (i spend to long on the web) but some topside pro's think Jap lux levels are crap compared to West and some (like drew) go the other way...So to speak.

Dean the reason why I think the Japanese ratings are realistic has nothing to do with the testing itself but the fact that it is standardized for every brand and camera since 94 (I think). This way intergenerational comparisons are possible. Unlike the Canon vs Sony vs yo'mama's marketing dept magic in the US prior to 2001/2. With this I can compare the Canon XL1 to the Sony VX1k or XLH1.

Nick
I don't think you will regret it. Sure something better will come along some day, but it will cost more and probably be bigger. If folks haven't noticed, the high performers keep getting bigger, not smaller. Current technology which is driven by physics, requires larger sensors and lens to perform better. Note the jump in size in the last few gens of cams, (PD150/170, Vx1000/2000 to FX1/Z1, Panny and Canon)...all got noticalby bigger.
This will likely change some day but hasn't changed yet to my knowledge. We should not confuse "better performace from smaller cams" with "which cam provides the best performance" (it is still the big ones). There is a reason Stan W. pushes a 50gallon drum underwater with two assistants:) It really comes down to your own personal tolerance for extra size/weight and your wallets appetite for the better system. I personally am stuck at the high prosumer FX1 and A1. Stan W. likes Imax! There is no one right answer, just what is right for you.
Shawn

Ah shawn, it's not the size but how you use it. :P

Actually some cameras are getting bigger but that is not exactly a good way to judge how 'phat' the camera is. Eg. HDCAM SR, the F900 is the same size as the F700, yet the CCD has higher res(same 2/3") and other gamma features built into the F900 makes it an improvement over the F700.
Canon's XL series is also identical in size since the XL1 to the XLH1. Often the increase in size is due to added functions and thus more IC boards inside the cameras. Also the optics for HD has higher resolution requirements. You also have to consider media. The Pana HVX is bigger than the DVX because it has to install the P2 slots. Then there's the plugs and buttons for functions. You get the picture.
IMAX is a film camera shooting 15/70mm, apples and bananas comparison to camcorder HD or even cinealta and panavision.

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#48 shawnh

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:24 AM

Ah Drew,
New when i started talking techie and physics you would emerge:)...actually, i was speaking generally that aside from added functions, the cams continue to grow (esp lenses and ccd's) to accomodate higher res images.
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#49 DeanB

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:10 AM

What is it with you yanks and size !!! ;)

If you live next to the sea (Mark/Mike etc..) Or can afford the luggage excess...?? Then fair play to ya. Lug those beauties around.

We will soon have HDcams inside you mask which film everthing you see in the same DOF/ FOV as your eyes. But by then I will be retired..Or retarded... :)

I'm waiting until Big red comes down a few quid in price. Then I'll still not be able to afford one.

Until then I'm happy with my small offering... :P

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#50 Drew

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:20 PM

I'm still hoping (waiting?) for a A1/HC1 sized 3 chip HD cam to come out (possibly the A1's direct replacement?), but the FX7/V1 has really grabbed my interest so far. The more I think about it the more I'm seriously considering it. Apparently the FX7/V1 has a 40% reduction in volume over the FX1 and a 25% reduction in weight. That's a fair difference.


Umm you should really not read and believe everything Sony and the internet (esp CamcorderInfo) tells you.
FX7 weight : 3 lbs. 10 oz.
FX1 : 4 lbs 4 oz
difference: 10 oz of 68oz = 14.7% less weight

Dimensionally It's 1/4" narrower, 7/8" shorter and 1 7/8" shorter, but due to the big VF sticking out at the back I'd say the housings will be slightly bigger than the old VX2k housings.
Furthermore, the actual sensor res is lower 1037k vs 1070k. But the V1 is still the only 4:2:2 1080P HDV camera out there right now.

Shawn, remember how big digibeta cameras were? We've now surpassed that resolution in a smaller package. Technology is shrinking products. Slowly but surely. I mean remember those VHS-C camcorders?!? :lol:

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#51 ronrosa

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 05:42 PM

I'm guessing the housings will be a little smaller than the VX2100. Sony lists the FX-7 as 2-3/4" shorter than the VX2100 with the lens hoods on. I guess we will have to wait and see.

#52 Steve Douglas

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

Any one have an idea on how three CMOS chips will fare in low light situations? I would guess there would be a significant improvement and then again a one chip CCD cam, depending on the model, often had as good if not better low light capability than several 3 chip CCDs.
I'm feeling hopeful about the FX7, I love that it will be back with the rocker arm zoom and the somewhat bigger size will offer greater stability in the water but also topside.
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#53 Dixter

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 05:41 AM

The new cam's also have a burst mode for slow motion capture... 240FPS... :blush:

Low light perfomance will also be dependent on pixel size... a few of the reasons
for swithcing sensors is, better battery performance, better thermal performance
and the thermal performance will affect the noise levels at low light...

as to XLR.... Amphibico does have the XLR underwater microphones, if any body needed it...

maybe for whales???

I'm hoping that Amphibico keeps the same size for the housing as my PD170/housing fits perfect in my
carry on case.

my understanding of 24P is this is what the studio's shoot the soap's with..... that looks pretty good to me.

#54 Drew

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 01:05 PM

Dixter
The Slo mo feature is a reduced resolution feature that shoots for 3 seconds at 60 fields per second (interlaced) and playback to 12 seconds of slow motion clips. I've seen it on the HC3 and it's very fluid but the resolution loss is significant. It will be interesting to see if the V1 does it at 50/60P.
XLR audio allows the microphone to be wired so there is no loss of signal when recorded via a long wire. Most dual model housings (VX/PD, FX/Z, TRV/PD) have it to accomodate the XLR cams.
24P is widely used from soaps to MTV VMA. Even some sports use it but NFL is shot in 60i. There are some people who think 24P are not really useful for natural history as the pans and motion demands are better suited with 60i. But then we like watching action movies in 24fps. Go figure.

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#55 Dixter

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 07:30 PM

Dixter
The Slo mo feature is a reduced resolution feature that shoots for 3 seconds at 60 fields per second (interlaced) and playback to 12 seconds of slow motion clips. I've seen it on the HC3 and it's very fluid but the resolution loss is significant. It will be interesting to see if the V1 does it at 50/60P.
XLR audio allows the microphone to be wired so there is no loss of signal when recorded via a long wire. Most dual model housings (VX/PD, FX/Z, TRV/PD) have it to accomodate the XLR cams.
24P is widely used from soaps to MTV VMA. Even some sports use it but NFL is shot in 60i. There are some people who think 24P are not really useful for natural history as the pans and motion demands are better suited with 60i. But then we like watching action movies in 24fps. Go figure.



I guess I should have posted the source of info... unless sony is pulling a fast one.... this camera is shooting
at 240 fps for slow mo... at least according to this.. http://news.sel.sony...ease/25017.html

I also read on another release is that the 240 fps burst is for 60 seconds...

Sony is updating the releases as it goes .... here is another site from sony... not complete as yet... but still some good info... this cam is going to be great for underwater ...

http://bssc.sel.sony...-V1U/index.html

more info to come...

it'd be cool if we could figure out a way to take the hard drive under water for shoots....

#56 Drew

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 07:57 PM

Dixter
They call it 240fps because it is 4x normal 60i speed. Since "fps" is great for marketing and easier on the tongue than 4 x normal 60i, I'm sure that's "why" they used that and not to make it sound more impressive. :blush: They use a buffer ram to achieve that since DV tape cannot possibly record that fast. On the HC3, it's 3 second burst. Anyhow, I'll be looking at the camera soon and will let you all know if someone else doesn't.
Opps I guess the cat is out of the bag.
The Spot man has released his demo clips( which are not all that native 24P) :

Sundance media

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#57 Dixter

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 11:04 AM

Dixter
They call it 240fps because it is 4x normal 60i speed. Since "fps" is great for marketing and easier on the tongue than 4 x normal 60i, I'm sure that's "why" they used that and not to make it sound more impressive. :blush: They use a buffer ram to achieve that since DV tape cannot possibly record that fast. On the HC3, it's 3 second burst. Anyhow, I'll be looking at the camera soon and will let you all know if someone else doesn't.
Opps I guess the cat is out of the bag.
The Spot man has released his demo clips( which are not all that native 24P) :

Sundance media


4X60i makes sense, not sure but maybe the 240fps is only there when the hard drive option is plugged in..
the specs do say " up to " so it implies that the 240fps could also be a lower fps also ???

#58 Dixter

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 04:56 PM

4X60i makes sense, not sure but maybe the 240fps is only there when the hard drive option is plugged in..
the specs do say " up to " so it implies that the 240fps could also be a lower fps also ???



OK, just to make sure I'm not posting bad info... I further checked about the slo mo burst mode...

No it doesn't require the HDD DR-60 accessory.

you can record a segment of any length, up to a maximum of 6seconds at once.
On playback a 6second segment will take 24seconds to playback.

As its 240fields-pe-second, the frame-rate in this mode is 120frames-per-second.

So, Thats actually pretty impressive for slow motion video capture...

Here's a nice pre-view of the camera... this cam is getting some very nice exposure all over the web....

for those that are wondering about 24P.... this is what the studio's shoot at for MTV, the soaps and News casts
like good moring america.... it ain't no slouch....

http://digitalconten...vrv1u_09192006/

#59 Drew

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:11 AM

As its 240fields-pe-second, the frame-rate in this mode is 120frames-per-second.

So, Thats actually pretty impressive for slow motion video capture...

Here's a nice pre-view of the camera... this cam is getting some very nice exposure all over the web....
http://digitalconten...vrv1u_09192006/


Nice? That's hardly an accurate hands on account of the camera. More of Ken Rockwell "I read the specs and web research of XXX brand and now I know too" style. Not a hands on report and really a few goofs as well, especially the nonsense about 3g sensor. Harddrives come with a XYZ 3 plane accelerometers that measure acceleration on each plane and pulls the HD head off the platter to prevent damage when acceleration exceeds specified limits, much like the Apple Macbook Pro system's sudden motion sensor. Anything going at 3g is not falling anymore. Sorry, not a good review at all.

HVR-DR60 does make for interesting possibilities, esp for unattended or remote reef shots. I'd like to see some time lapse stuff underwater, I suppose a still camera would be better though. But to shoot 5hrs straight does give ideas. Too bad it installs on the accessory shoe and no housing will fit it. If there isn't an extension wire for it, Firestore will probably come up with a 100GB solution that's cheaper. LOL

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#60 Steve Douglas

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 07:51 AM

Now that we have 2 cams coming out or just released, the FX7 and the HVR-V1U, and since I haven't done my homework and investigated them properly, what will be the deciding factors between going for one or the other?
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